The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

malt loaf

Monica's picture

malt loaf

Living in England for several years I fell in love with the small, slightly sticky, malt loaf.  It is a dark rich "tea" bread.  I have never been able to find a recipe for one.  Anyone in England, or anywhere else, have one please?  It is a small loaf and sometimes had raisens in it.  Monica

PaddyL's picture

I have recipes for both and would be glad to post one, or both, for you.

AnnieT's picture

Paddy, as soon as I posted the recipe I found a non-yeasted one - I'll let you go first! A.

AnnieT's picture

Monica, I miss that bread too! Really sticky and sooo good. I found a recipe in a book called Bread, the breads of the world and how to bake them - but judging by the pictures it isn't the same. I have a friend who works in an English store in San Diego and they sell the bread. I'll give the recipe in case you want to try it.

2 oz. malt extract

2 tbspn golden syrup

2oz butter

1 lb bread flour

1 tspn mixed spice

3/4 oz fresh yeast

6 fluid oz. warm milk

6 oz. currants slightly warmed



2 tbspn milk, 2 tbspn caster sugar.

Melt butter, malt and syrup, cool completely. Add to rest of ingredients except currants, knead 10 minutes. Proof 1 1/2 - 2 hours until double, knead in currants. Shape into 2 loaves, proof in pans until dough reaches top of pan. Bake at 400* for 35 to 40 minutes. Melt sugar and milk for glaze, brush loaves as soon as they come out of oven. Hope this helps, A.

Monica's picture

PaddyL, I'm not sure, but being it was a small, somewhat heavy loaf, I would say "Non-yeasted."  but if you have time to post it, I'll try both!  Thanks everyone!  Monica

Monica's picture

AnnieT, I just saw the "fresh yeast" and I can't find it ANYWHERE!  I live in The Upstate of SC, and believe me I have looked.  I asked the local grocery store and all they said was, "Try on-line."  So, I have given up and use only the dry stuff which I buy in bulk.  Hope it doesn't make a difference.

AnnieT's picture

Monica, I haven't ever found fresh yeast in my area (Washington State) but I have used instant yeast instead with good results. Dan Lepard in The Art of Handmade Bread says to use half the weight of fresh, but I think he is referring to regular yeast - you would use less of the instant yeast. Aha! Peter Reinhart gives a formula - 100% fresh yeast = 40 to50% active dry yeast = 33% instant yeast! There you go, A.

PaddyL's picture

This is from Classic 1000 Cake and Bake Recipes by Wendy Hobson.

Malt Loaf

25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp. butter

225 g/8 oz/2 cups self-raising flour

25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp. soft brown sugar

30 ml/2 tbsp. black treacle (molasses)

20 ml/4 tsp. malt extract

150 ml/1/4 pt/2/3 cup milk

75 g/3 oz./1/2 cup sultanas

15 ml/1 tbsp. caster (superfine) sugar

30 ml/2 tbsp. water

Rub the butter into the flour, then stir in the brown sugar.  Warm the treacle, malt extract, and milk, then blend into the dry ingredients with the sultanas and mix to a dough.  Turn into a greased 450 g/1 lb. loaf tin (pan) and bake in preheated oven at 160C/325F/gas mark 3 for 1 hour until golden.  Bring the sugar and water to the boil and boil until syrupy.  Brush over the top of the loaf and leave to cool.

The baking time might be less; I'd check at 40 minutes.  There's another malt loaf recipe in this book that's made with ww flour, makes a 2 lb. loaf, and if you'd like that, I'll post it as well.  Also there's another recipe with All-Bran.

Monica's picture

Thanks again everyone!  This is such a friendly and great site!  I will be busy trying out these recipes!  I'll let you know.  Monica

claremoran's picture

claremoran   Monica did you manage to work out a recipe from Dougal's comments? I'd love it

qahtan's picture

like most Brits, we are all looking for the malt loaf recipe...... there are many around but unfortunately none are quite what we are looking for unless, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

There was a miller in Wantage, UK called Clarks and they used to make the "stuff" that went to nearly all the bakers in UK for the malt loaf. It is/was called Sultarnex,  they would sell Sultarnex to the public with the recipe just add flour etc, but that was it.

 I humped a 5 pound bag of it back from Wantage on my last trip to UK.

 I have just googled and it appears that Soreen have been making the malt loaf since 1980.

 IF by chance you happen to get/find a recipe that tastes like the real thing, please post it in large print... :-))))  qahtan

webs32's picture

i don't know whether it happens in the US supermarkets, but in the UK, if you go to the bakery counter, you can ask for fresh yeast for FREE (Not many people know this!). Because it's fresh, it has to be used so i'm sure they could afford to give you a few grams! Worth a try!

ejm's picture

I don't know about the USA but I really doubt that this would happen at any Canadian bakery counter. It's my guess that if they are baking their own bread, they're using instant yeast rather than fresh. But I could be wrong. If someone experiments with this idea at a Canadian bakery and is successful, I'd love to hear about it.

I can buy fresh yeast at a local deli in little blocks (a block is enough to make about two batches of sweet buns) But it's expensive at about $1 per block.

In Artisan Baking Across America, Maggie Glezer says

for every 150gm (5.3oz, 1 cup) of flour in the recipe to use either of:
3 gm compressed fresh yeast (0.1 oz, 1/6 cake)
2 gm active dry yeast (0.05oz, 1/2 tsp)
1 gm instant active dry yeast (0.04oz, 3/8 tsp)

Susan (Wild Yeast) wrote a great post about yeast that includes a handy conversion chart:

1 tsp instant = 3.1 g
1 g instant = 1.25 g active dry = 2.5 g fresh
1 tsp instant = 1.3 tsp active dry = 0.4 cake fresh
1 tsp active dry = 2.9 g
1 g active dry = 0.8 g instant = 2 g fresh
1 tsp active dry = 0.75 tsp instant = 0.3 cake fresh
1 g fresh = 0.5 g active dry = 0.4 g instant
1 cake fresh = 3 tsp active dry = 2.25 tsp instant

(Personally, I'd steer away from using the measurement term "cake"; it seems that the size of a cake could vary drastically from place to place - in the same way that a "packet" does.)

bulent's picture


I dont know if you are still after the rmalt loaf recipie. Search The fresh Loaf site for Malt bread there is one that looks very good.


dougal's picture

This thread needs to read in conjunction with the second thread Monica started on the same subject

In that other thread, I identified the Soreen commercial loaf as the much-sought-after model, and linked to the manufacturer's web page listing its ingredients in quantity order.

I also speculated at a reconstruction of the recipe based on those ingredient proportions and pack descriptions - like "97% fat free" meaning a maximum of 3% of the total ingredient weight reflects fat content.


I had hoped that some of the UK-malt-loaf-deprived might have a go and report back, and I'd also expected that bakers and food technologists more knowledgeable than myself would offer a critique and improvement of the method that I suggested...

claremoran's picture

Dougal, couldn't you just give us a simple recipe . I don't have enough experience as a baker to do your maths and I'm one of those brits desperate for fruit malt loaf, I promise to post comments on how it tastes

merrybaker's picture

Monica, have you tried Delia's Sticky Malt Loaf? The ingredients are quite like Soreen's. It's too hot here, at the moment, to even think of baking.,842,RC.html

sojourner's picture

It's getting harder to find fresh yeast in UK supermarkets now. In my area, Tesco have dropped it (they used to give it away on request) but Sainsbury still sell it on the fresh bread counter for 16p per 50 gm (again, you have to ask for it and they go to the back and get it). None of the local bakers sell it and when I queried that, the baker told me they only used dried yeast now because, in his words, it was more reliable. When we were on holiday in France last year, I found one artisan baker (out of three I tried) who still used fresh yeast. He sold me some but a lot dearer than in UK, about 80 cents for 50 gm.

I've been reading a cookery book from the 1800s in recent weeks and find that in there, the author warns that after getting the fresh yeast from the local brewery, it needs to be "washed" several times to get rid of the taste and colour!



NZEllie's picture

This is the closest recipe in taste and texture that I've trialled recently to Soreen - I've trialled 6 different recipes!Heat.oven to 165degrees CLine a foil tray (same size as Soreen)  with non-stick cooking paperSoak 150 grams of sultanas and raisins mixed in85mls Malt extract1 tab of molassesAnd 75mls strong teaFor 15 minutes.Add 125 gms SR flour and a pinch of saltBake 35 mins.While loaf is still hot 'paint' top with malt extract. Leave in foil tray to cool. Lift out of tray when cold leaving paper stuck to loaf. Put into a sealed Tupperware for 3 days - do not open! It goes nice and sticky.This isn't as dark in colour as Soreen, but it has the stickiness to the teeth texture and it tastes dammed close!In NZ you can buy "Maltexo" from supermarkets - I suggest to people trying to find malt extract that they look around the sports protein bars, shakes and supplements area, in a supermarket or drug store, or at a home brewing shop.